Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Faux-natural. Gimme fake hair pieces, lip gloss, and the Rebel Alliance any day. White and silver are always futuristic, and add the super long brown hair to keep it down to earth. Natural and artificial, all at the same time.

This year, I was Princess Leia for Halloween. It was my third time. The first was when the movie just came out. I was 7 or so. For the next, I was in graduate school (25 or so). And then again this year. I accessorized with a gun, like in the first photo, which came in handy as I went out dancing and various strange men that I wanted nothing to do with tried to hump me (oh, kids today). A big futuristic gun generally made them back off. Though not always, alas. Sigh. (Get me to a nunnery.)

Of course subconsciously, Princess Leia has always been a great style icon for me. Being petite, elaborately coiffed and somewhat Semitic, I can channel Carrie Fisher. At least, that's what many lonely Japanese business men told me when I taught English at Berlitz in the mid-90s. Really. I was told I looked like Princess Leia almost everyday, and I wasn't even wearing the cinnamon bun 'do. I was coiffed more like the second photo. And I even tend to stay away from white clothing, for fear that it will make me look red in the face. But I do like flow-ey dresses, metallic boots and big silver jewelry.

Who could resist the Halston-designed gowns? The lip gloss that never wore off, even under torture. The snowsuits that were so, well, princessy, yet ready to fight the powers that be. I enjoyed how Princess Leia never had any luggage, but always picked up something to wear along the way. Fortunately the ewoks had something in her size. She was a diplomat, a spy, an ambassador, a tactitian, a rebel and a princess, for crying out loud.

The use of white clothing is fabulous, even though I can't really do it (not only because of Irish red face, but also my sloppy fondness for red wine) plus I love color too much. But the combination of futuristic and Rennaisance left its mark on my style.

When I'm not wearing a kicky vintage novelty print frock, I work the intergalactic wood nymph vibe.

Now Queen Amidala, I must also confess, is a style icon for me too. I absolutely hated the new Star Wars trilogy, but I loved the costumes. I even bought the issue of Vogue that showed all of Trisha Bigger's designs. Two photos from that issue are shown below. Her costumes are more intelligent than all three of the films.

I saw the first two movies for the wardrobe alone, so I have no idea about the plot. I only remember some very bad dialogue. "I am your elected Queen." being one of the howlers. There was a moment when this elected Queen had to pack, or change or something and I caught a glimpse of her closet and I remember thinking: can't we just stay here and try on clothes and let the whole stupid plot whirl on without us?

I skipped the last movie.

I love the Butoh-influenced white face and the scintillating mix of textures. (I'm not good with textures, alas, but tend to work more with patterns that vibrate with each other.) This is advanced layering in action, not to be attempted by amateurs. I love any kind of headdress, especially if it achieves verticality. People simply do not wear enough things on their heads anymore for my taste. I used to be reduced to buying the June issue of Vogue to look at bridal wear (and I think marriage is legalized prostitution!) just to see headdresses.

Too kimono-like? Too obviously Asian-influenced? Who cares? Impossible to walk or sit in? So what? I like that these costumes contain so many opposites. The headdresses are a little Cirque du Soleil, and yet with the long robes they never look Vegas. The white face somehow avoids clownishness. These are costumes that take risks. That make a bloody effort.

Brava to Trisha Bigger, checking a sleeve in the bottom photo.


Post a Comment

<< Home